OMG, I haven’t blogged since February, sheeeeyit. But, yanno, I’ve been doing fings, so a girl gets busy and all, and, and…
Okay, enough of my excuses. Now I’m going to talk about Cate Ellink’s new book, The Virginity Mission. I’m excited about this one because before I knew Cate very well, she sent me the MS to take a look and let her know what I thought. I was worried, because I’d just joined the erotic romance writers’ forum and I thought, eek, what if I think it’s poopy??
But it wasn’t! Not even a little bit poopy!
Instead, I loved the inner and outer (physical) journey of the main character, Mac. Her scientific expedition’s trek through the wilderness meshed really well with her journey of seeking to change herself (through losing her virginity) and (unintentionally) falling for someone. Ellink captures all the insecurities and hopes of the female protagonist perfectly (she’s great at writing emotion) and the main character is very authentic and credible, someone you could imagine running into in real life and liking. Author does a great job of stringing out the suspense, so watch out, this one’s a page-turner (I read the whole thing in one sit). Those hoping for a giant raptor to show up and eat half the characters will be disappointed, but if you’re after a satisfying, believable romance then you can’t go wrong with this one. (If I hadn’t liked the book, I probably would have been hoping for raptors.)
Check it out for yourself in June, or take a peek at the blurb at Escape Publishing.
Gifts not to give this Valentine’s Day (or not without some distance between you and your beloved)
February is the month for promoting really crappy Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Here are some of the worst offenders I found online.
I will garrote you with these, yes I will…
Love apron. If anyone were stupid enough to buy me a cooking apron that read “Love: It’s what for dinner” I would have to garrote them with the ties. In fact, any apron gift would be used that way regardless of what it said. Ditto goes for tacky lingerie.
Jerky. That’s right, there’s a company that believes you should express your love with a subscription for beef jerky. Confused as a goat on astro turf? So am I. If anyone made me a gift of jerky, I would assume it was because one of us was a bit of a jerky.
Microbrew Beer Bucket Gift Basket. Admittedly, this is not a bad gift idea for someone who really likes beer. What disturbs me is the galvanized bucket included. Perhaps it’s just me, but gifts that say ‘and here’s something to vomit into later’ just aren’t very classy.
Custom Engraved Dog Tag Set. Okay, someone’s crack pipe was running hot when they came up with this concept. I’m not sure what this gift could mean other than ‘I love you so much I dream you’ll join the military and get posted to a far away war zone’. Ouch.
A monogrammed set of four ticking striped handkerchiefs. Don’t worry if you just said ‘what the fuck?’ because that was my response, too. Apparently this gift is for ‘emotional moments or dabbing eye make-up’. I guess you could give it to a girlfriend as well.
Plush teddy bears are not a bad option. They can be used to make a satisfying bonfire after a break-up.
What’s the worst Valentine’s Day gift idea you’ve encountered?
I’m an out-and-proud admirer of Charlotte Stein’s writing, and I’m very happy to say that her latest release, Addicted, tickled my little literary armpits in the most irresistible way.
Here’s my ode to Addicted (available from 24 January) which also provides ten good reasons to read Stein (anything by Stein).
- The characters may ‘bang like dunny doors’ but the acts are never mechanical or meaningless. In Addicted, as in many of Stein’s books, sex is redemptive and the characters are freed and healed by sex and their relationship. Bonking as a blessing? Amen to that, sistah.
- Stein’s intimate, confessional writing style drags you deep into the psychological foibles of her protagonists and their wry, often self-deprecating, observations. Example: “Just share your inner self’ she says, as though my inner self could be so easily persuaded. I can’t even tell someone on the subway that they’re standing on my foot, let alone this.”
- Stein likes to have her way with the English language and sentences like this will leap out and slap you in the face (and make you like it): “The mood is so thick and intense it’s become a supernatural fog bank rolling in from a James Herbert story.”
- And then she’ll hit you with something really outrageous, like: “Vaginas just attach themselves to his face before he knows where he is.”
- Linear plots: yawn. Stein likes the ole twist and turn. Things and people are not what they seem. Deal with it.
- Dislike the use of verbal spats and contrived plots to generate suspense? Stein is a master at creating suspense through character uncertainty and contradiction. In Addiction, characters’ actions and words contradict their thoughts, they act in ways seemingly at odds with their personality and appearance, they desire things that frighten them. The shy librarian fakes sex addiction, the sex addict avoids intercourse. As in real life, nobody’s really sure what the other person thinks, feels or wants. You’ll have to read into the wee hours, forced to turn page after page as you seek the psychological truth…
- The urge to truffle in someone’s private parts is not incompatible with respect: the hero and heroine actually like each other before they reach the soft, gooey, lovey-dovey stage. You won’t find any improbable “I hate you, I want to kick you in the nuts, now let’s fuck” in Addiction.
- Kit and Dillon are so funny, messed up and yummy you’ll weep tears of rage because they’re not real which means a) you can’t become friends and hang out with them or b) bonk them. They get hung up on what’s ‘normal’ the way we all do.
- Stein embraces anatomical reality: the clitoris, g-spot and prostate all get due mention. None of her heroines orgasm from a magic slap of their lady parts or a penis used Mix-master style. Everyone earns their orgasms through good, hard, dirty, filthy effort.
- Stein is just plain funny. Example: “I feel as though I should hire Indiana Jones to drop down into the snake pit in your pants to get it back out again.”
So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the snake pit of Charlotte Stein’s authorial pants by checking out her author page at Amazon.
If you need any more convincing, check out the review at Heroes and Heartbreakers.